Temporomandibular joint and muscle disorder, frequently called TMJ, is a group of conditions causing pain and loss of function to your lower face. Between 5-10% of the population are affected by TMJ. We see it in women more than men and 15% of the time in patients that suffer from chronic headaches.
The temporomandibular joints are some of the most complicated in the body. It is the only joint with a fixed endpoint (the teeth), it slides, it rotates, has a disk between the jaw and the skull and is connected to the other side of your face to its counterpart which does not allow each side to work independently. What happens to one side, affects the other. Because of this complexity, it’s important to have it treated carefully. Dr. Chicvak has studied TMJ/TMD extensively and successfully treated many patients with the disorder.
Common Symptoms of TMJ
|Frequent headaches and/or migraines||Head and neck tenderness and/or muscle pain|
|Ear pain, stuffiness and loss of hearing||Jaw popping and clicking|
|Dizziness||Difficulty opening and closing the jaw|
|Sinus pain||Difficulty chewing|
|Worn, sensitive and broken teeth||Neuralgia (neck and facial pain)|
|Notching on the outside of teeth||Sleep apnea|
Possible Causes of TMJ
|Bruxism (grinding) and clenching teeth||Trauma||Osteoarthritis|
|Daily Behavioral Habits||Tooth and jaw misalignment||Rheumatoid arthritis|
|Systemic disease like Fibromyalgia and Lyme||Trigeminalneuralgia||Referred pain|
|Side effects of medications||Disc wear and dislocation|
OUR TMJ TREATMENT
We follow the recommendations of The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research - the less is best approach. After a thorough evaluation and exam, we provide you with a customized routine of treatment which may include:
- Changes to diet
- Behavior modifications
- Physical therapy routines including specific exercises
- A custom hard bite guard
Dr. Chicvak monitors your treatment results closely and will further customize as necessary. If we feel we cannot achieve the optimal results, we will refer you to one of our trusted colleagues who are orofacial specialists.
For more information, contact us or request an appointment today!